A rehearsal dinner is more than just what you eat after you rehearse your ceremony: It’s a great way to kick of a weekend full of celebrations, and to spend a little extra time with the people who have come to celebrate with you. It can be a formal, sit-down affair or totally casual (that’s up to the hosts!), and can happen at your favorite restaurant or even the hosts’ home. But the big question is: Do you have to invite everyone? Thankfully, our experts are here to break it down for you.
There are a few people who must be invited to the rehearsal dinner. Namely, your immediate families and anyone who is at the rehearsal! Depending on the size of your wedding party and if you’re including other friends and family in your ceremony, that could be just a few people or a few dozen.
Next comes the question of plus-ones. While it isn’t absolutely required, it’s a nice gesture to invite your wedding party’s plus-ones, as well. From husbands to boyfriends to your sister’s college bestie, they’ll be happy to have their other half by their side. It’s especially polite if they’ve traveled from out of town along with your wedding party, as otherwise they’d be left to fend for themselves while their dates celebrate with you!
Here’s where the guest list now becomes the host’s decision. If they have the budget, and have chosen a space that accommodates a larger group, begin by extending the invitation to additional family members, like grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Still have room (and funds) for more? Out-of-town guests are usually the next people to be added to the list. And if you’re feeling really generous, you can of course invite everyone who is invited to your wedding!
If the hosts aren’t so keen on having dinner for over 100, but you’d really like to include everyone as much as possible, consider having a more intimate dinner crowd, then inviting the rest of your guests to join you for cocktails and dessert. Just remember: you’ve got a big day the next morning!